Entrepreneurship: becoming an entrepreneur


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Norman Evans answers the questions:
Are entrepreneurs born or made?
How to discover if you have the behavioural characteristics of an entrepreneur.
How to learn entrepreneurship.
What it takes to be an entrepreneur.

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  • Bill and Ben… both creative and intelligent. Both potentially entrepreneurial. Ben constrained by fear of failure.
  • Street kids have similar profiles to entrepreneurs… resource gatherers
  • Entrepreneurship: becoming an entrepreneur

    1. 1. HIGH GROWTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP<br />Becoming an Entrepreneur<br />
    2. 2. The short answer….<br /><ul><li>Let’s dispel the myth that only a few people, who are ‘born to it’ can be entrepreneurs.
    3. 3. It’s not about characteristics and behaviours; it’s about the balance of behaviours. So learn how to understand and modify your behaviours.</li></li></ul><li>To be covered<br />Can entrepreneurship be learned, or are you born to it?<br />What strengths and weaknesses are typical in entrepreneurs?<br />If entrepreneurship can be learned, how can you become an entrepreneur?<br />
    4. 4. Entrepreneurs are, in this context…<br />… those who innovate and carry risk in building a new business<br />So… I’m not talking about<br />Intrapreneurs (so-called corporate entrepreneurs who don’t carry the risk themselves)<br />Small-business owners (who don’t innovate much)<br />Franchisees (who don’t innovate much)<br />…though they are included in many definitions of ‘entrepreneur’<br />
    5. 5. And they do it because…<br />They want to control their own destiny<br />They can build something great/cool/fun<br />They consider ‘having a job’ to be boring or unchallenging<br />And often ..<br />The world of ‘jobs’ is just too slow-moving for them. Entrepreneurs set their own pace, and it’s usually fast!<br />
    6. 6. Nature/nurture debate<br />Entrepreneurs are both born and made<br />You have to have a basic personality receptive to the experiences which make an entrepreneur. But that filter still allows much of the population through.<br />Our experiences are a bigger factor, and determine which of us will actually be able to embrace the mindset of an entrepreneur<br />
    7. 7. Comfortable people don’t make good entrepreneurs<br />Correlation between unmet needs and strength of entrepreneurial profile?<br />When people are comfortable and self-satisfied: <br />they lose the need to innovate in the demanding way required of entrepreneurs<br />they lose the excessive drive which powers an entrepreneur’s achievement<br />
    8. 8. Three common motivators are:<br />The creative desire to build something great (legacy)<br />The desire to make the world a better place (social conscience)<br />The desire to ‘prove yourself’ (challenge)<br />The desire to ‘prove yourself’ is particularly common because entrepreneurs judge everyone, including themselves, by what they achieve…. Results are everything!<br />
    9. 9. Sometimes the unmet needs have deep roots…<br />
    10. 10. Characteristics and Behaviours<br />Passion<br />Drive<br />Self-belief<br />Persistence<br />Opportunism<br />Vision<br />Optimism<br />Resilience<br />Resource gatherer<br />Innovator<br />Deal-maker<br />Seller<br />Goal-seeker<br />Communicator<br />…so that’s all you need!!<br />
    11. 11. Strengths and weaknesses are often finely balanced:<br />p.1<br />Stubbornness in clinging to a path regardless of conflicting views<br />Persistence in chasing a vision<br />Inability to accept best practice when it conflicts with the entrepreneur’s views<br />Ability to see beyond conventional wisdom<br />Opportunism; the ability to see and act on new opportunities as they emerge<br />Diluting effectiveness by trying to follow too many opportunities at once<br />
    12. 12. Strengths and weaknesses are often finely balanced:<br />p.2<br />Inability to manage reluctance by potential investors to accept the same level of risk<br />High tolerance of risk<br />Lack of appreciation of the limits of the entrepreneur’s expertise (not knowing when to rely on other experts)<br />Deep expertise in some aspects of building a business <br />High internal motivation<br />Unrealistic expectation that others will be equally internally motivated<br />
    13. 13. Strengths and weaknesses are often finely balanced:<br />p.3<br />Unwillingness to delegate when the business grows large enough to have specialist staff<br />Willingness to take responsibility<br />Unwillingness to give up control (particularly when the company has grown beyond the entrepreneur’s skills to manage it)<br />The ability, and willingness, to control the whole business during initial start-up<br />Clarity of thinking; a clear view of the tasks which must be completed to build the business<br />Inflexibility; the inability to recognize/accept a new idea which does not fit with the entrepreneur’s model of what is needed<br />
    14. 14. Strengths and weaknesses are often finely balanced:<br />p.4<br />Inability to find time to learn and adapt during the high-pressure start-up phase of building a business (hence, many entrepreneurs learn through failure)<br />A high acceptance of the need for learning and adapting in building a business<br />The inability to recognize that the market may not be ready for fast innovation (particularly an issue for entrepreneurs with a technology background)<br />The ability to recognize innovative concepts and technologies<br />
    15. 15. The entrepreneur is likely to be both:<br /><ul><li>The greatest asset of the start-up
    16. 16. The greatest liability of the start-up</li></li></ul><li>Learn to be an entrepreneur by…<br />Examining your own profile … knowing how you’re likely to behave makes it easier to recognise inappropriate behaviours<br />Getting mentors/board members/advisors who will tell you when you’re going wrong, and reinforce you when you’re going well<br />Taking time to reflect on what you’re hearing about your own behaviours, and modifying your behaviours where appropriate<br />
    17. 17. The reflective learning process<br />Work on the project/company<br />Listen to the advice you’re getting from mentors/boards/advisors <br />Listen to feedback from customers and staff<br />Balance that advice against what you know about yourself<br />Repeat the process<br />Change what you’re doing where appropriate<br />
    18. 18. Reflective learning is difficult for entrepreneurs because…<br />Entrepreneurs are externally focused (it’s about what I do rather than who I am). They don’t tend to ask for personal help (it’s about task accomplishment, not personal development)<br />It’s hard to practise reflective learning when you’re under stress (and company building is stressful)<br />But the best time to learn is while you’re actually working on a company… if you are open to learning. <br />
    19. 19. Understand yourself, and you can still learn while you’re under pressure<br />
    20. 20. In summary<br />Can entrepreneurship be learned, or are you born to it?<br />There are some ‘natural’ elements, but entrepreneurship can be learned if you can understand your strengths and weaknesses<br />What strengths and weaknesses are typical in entrepreneurs?<br />The strengths and weaknesses are often the same behaviours being displayed appropriately and inappropriately<br />If entrepreneurship can be learned, how can you become an entrepreneur?<br />Understand your own strengths and weaknesses, then learn by doing and reflecting. Building companies is the only way to learn to be an entrepreneur<br />
    21. 21. Want to learn more about entrepreneurship?<br />- read the free chapters from my book<br />- take the light-hearted “Idiot’s Survey”<br /> - subscribe to my blog<br />Find this information at:www.becominganentrepreneur.bizwww.norman-evans.com<br />